Prospective owners are sometimes shocked to learn that straight hair Goldendoodles exist!
When we think of Poodle mixes like the Goldendoodle, we often picture the classic “teddy bear” look with a scruffy face and curly coat! However, that’s not always the case!
Goldendoodles with straight hair, sometimes called flat coat Goldendoodles, are often the subject of a lot of confusion. Why do breeders say they have “improper” coats? Is there anything wrong with them?
Keep reading to get all your questions answered about this unique Goldendoodle coat texture!
Can Goldendoodles Have Straight Hair?
While not as common as wavy or curly coats, Goldendoodles can have straight hair!
As a mixed breed dog, Goldendoodles will take on some qualities of both the Golden Retriever and the Poodle. Naturally, some Goldendoodles will have a flat coat like the Golden Retriever and some will have a curlier coat similar to the Poodle.
Breeders often strive to produce Goldendoodle puppies with curly coats, as they tend to be more allergy-friendly and have a lower potential for shedding. This is why straight coat Goldendoodles aren’t as common.
Are Goldendoodles Always Curly?
Goldendoodles aren’t always curly! Goldendoodle coat types can range from curly, to wavy, to completely straight.
While there are plenty of straight hair Goldendoodles out there, curly coats are definitely more common in this breed.
What coat type a Goldendoodle puppy has depends entirely on the DNA passed on from their parents. Straight hair comes from the Golden Retriever side and curly hair comes from the Poodle side. A wavy coat sometimes acts as a “happy medium” between these two coat textures.
What is a Flat Coat Goldendoodle?
A flat coat Goldendoodle is a term used to describe Goldendoodles with straight hair that lack furnishings. These dogs are sometimes said to have an “improper” coat, as many Goldendoodle breeders strive for curly-haired puppies.
Whether or not a Goldendoodle has a flat coat is based on if they have furnishings. Furnishings are longer hair on your Goldendoodle’s eyebrows, nose, and mustache. These hairs are not only the key indicator of coat type, they help predict how allergy-friendly a Goldendoodle’s coat may be.
Here’s an example of a doodle with furnishings compared to one without. See how the one on the left has a more scruffy, teddy-bear look?
Why Does My Goldendoodle Have Straight Hair?
Just like humans inherit traits from their parents, so do Goldendoodles! Coat texture is one example of a trait that can be passed along from either parent breed.
Coat texture can differ not only between litters of puppies but between individual puppies from the same litter! In any given litter of Goldendoodles, some puppies may have flat coats while others have curly or wavy hair.
Your Goldendoodle’s coat type depends on one specific gene. “Cu Locus,” a.k.a. KRT71, is what breeders refer to as the “curly coat gene.” It’s inherited from the Poodle side and will result in puppies with curly or wavy hair. If your Goldendoodle doesn’t have the Cu Locus gene, they’ll have a flat coat.
Responsible breeders take great care to select dogs from well-known bloodlines and perform extensive genetic testing prior to breeding. This not not only reduces the likelihood of genetic health issues in Goldendoodles, but it can help increase the chances of a low-shedding and allergy-friendly coat.
Breeders sometimes say that straight haired Goldendoodles have an improper coat. This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with them, but typically breeders are striving for curly or wavy textures which are more desirable to many potential owners.
Which Generation of Goldendoodle Has a Flat Coat?
The closer in DNA your Goldendoodle is to a purebred Golden Retriever (American or English), the greater the odds are that they’ll have a flat coat. This theoretical DNA split between the Golden Retriever and the Poodle is called a Goldendoodle’s generation.
Goldendoodle generations aren’t always easy to understand, so we have an entire article dedicated to explaining them! Here’s a brief overview…
All generations of Goldendoodles begin with an “F.” This letter stands for “filial hybrid” which is a fancy term for mixed breed. The “F” is followed by a number usually ranging from 1-3. This number indicates how far removed from the initial pairing of two purebred dogs a litter is.
Finally, a generation may sometimes end with the letter “B.” This indicates that the generation has been backcrossed with one of the original purebred breeds to increase the DNA percentage of that breed. In the Goldendoodle’s case, it’s almost always a purebred Poodle. If there is more than one “B” in a generation, it means that it’s been backcrossed multiple times.
Still confused? Don’t worry! Here’s a table which will help you visualize the theoretical genetic makeup of each Goldendoodle generation.
The generations most likely to result in a straight hair Goldendoodle are F1 or F2 since they both contain the highest percentages of Golden Retriever DNA. Alternatively, you may find a breeder that backcrosses a Goldendoodle to a Golden Retriever resulting in puppies even more likely to have a flat coat. However, this is extremely rare to come across.
One thing to factor in when searching for a flat coat Goldendoodle is that you’re in the minority of potential owners. Most people are hoping for a curly haired Goldendoodle. That means that even if there are only one or two straight haired puppies in a litter, they’ll likely still be available regardless of whether you have first pick or last.
Are Straight Hair Goldendoodles Hypoallergenic?
Straight hair Goldendoodles will NOT be hypoallergenic. While they may be slightly less triggering to allergies than a purebred Golden Retriever, you shouldn’t count on it.
If you’re an allergy-sufferer, you’ll want to opt for a Goldendoodle whose coat more closely resembles the Poodle. Even still, curly haired Goldendoodles aren’t guaranteed to be hypoallergenic!
If you’d like a dog with the best odds of being allergy-friendly, a straight haired Goldendoodle is not your best bet. Instead, try for a generation that is closer to the Poodle in DNA such as the F1BB or F2BB.
Do Straight Coat Goldendoodles Shed?
Straight coat Goldendoodles will usually shed moderately. While they likely won’t shed as heavily as a purebred Golden Retriever would, you should still expect plenty of stray hairs around your house.
The good news is that with the right knowledge and tools, Goldendoodle shedding can be effectively managed! It all starts with a healthy diet, frequent brushing and bathing, and using the proper equipment.
Here are a few of my go-to recommendations for managing shedding in Goldendoodles…
- Burt’s Bees Shed Control Shampoo: This shampoo not only helps with shedding, but it avoids harsh chemicals and is great for Goldendoodles who have sensitive skin.
- FURminator De-Shedding Tool: This tool helps to remove loose hair BEFORE it gets all over your house!
- Chris Christensen Big G Slicker Brush: This is hands-down the best brush for doodles on the planet. The price will give you a bit of sticker shock, but trust me it’s well worth it.
In addition to the pet supplies above, don’t forget about investing in a vacuum that’s made to tackle pet hair. Here are some top-rated options Goldendoodle owners love:
Flat Coat Goldendoodle Grooming
If you can handle a bit of shedding, flat coat Goldendoodles are so much easier than their curly coated counterparts when it comes to grooming!
Since they shed, they’ll need to get groomed less frequently which saves you money and time. In addition, their coats are easier to maintain and require less upkeep.
While many owners of curly Goldendoodles constantly struggle to prevent matting, straight haired Goldendoodles are less prone to tangles and mats. Brushing once or twice a week is all you need to keep your dog’s coat healthy and looking it’s best!
Don’t get me wrong—ease of maintenance doesn’t mean NO maintenance at all. Brushing as well as cleaning your Goldendoodle’s ears, trimming their nails, and regular bathing should still all be on your to-do list.
Flat Coat Goldendoodle Puppies: Pros and Cons
- Lower Price: The F1 and F2 generations usually produce the most Goldendoodles with flat coats. They also tend to be the least expensive generations available! Sometimes, puppies with straight hair will even be discounted as many prospective owners prefer allergy-friendly curly coats.
- Less Competitive Litter Selection: Since many future Goldendoodle owners want curly and wavy coats, it’s less important that you have the first few picks of any litter. The odds are good that any puppies with straight hair will be passed up until it’s your turn!
- Less Daily Grooming: Keeping straight hair healthy and looking good takes far less time and effort.
- Less Frequent Haircuts: The silver lining to your Goldendoodle shedding is that it means they’ll need haircuts less frequently. Even going to the grooming salon one or two fewer times per year than an owner of a curly-haired dog would can add up to thousands of dollars in savings over your Goldendoodle’s lifespan.
- Cute Golden Retriever Appearance: Straight haired Goldendoodles often look similar in appearance to a Golden Retriever…and who doesn’t love them?!
- Can Trigger Allergies: If you have even mild allergies, your best bet is choosing a Goldendoodle with a curly coat or a breed with two hypoallergenic parents like the Poochon, Maltipoo, or Schnoodle.
- More Shedding: If you have a Goldendoodle with an improper coat, your dog will almost certainly shed to some degree. Some people are bothered by shedding more than others. If you need a perfectly clean house and despise dog hair on your clothes, a straight coat Goldendoodle may not be for you.
- No Classic “Teddy Bear” Look: If you’re looking for the classic “teddy bear” doodle appearance, you’ll need a puppy with the curly or wavy hair that results in this look.
Will a Goldendoodle Puppy Coat Change?
The coat your Goldendoodle has as a puppy will change as they reach 6-12 months in age. It’ll go from a soft, fine texture to one that more closely resembles fleece, wool, or hair.
While a Goldendoodle’s puppy coat will be slightly different than their adult coat, you shouldn’t expect it to change drastically. A Goldendoodle with an improper coat as a puppy won’t suddenly become curly as they age. On the flip side, a Goldendoodle puppy that has furnishings won’t develop straight hair later in life.
Your breeder will be able to help you identify puppies with furnishings or without so you can choose a Goldendoodle with your preferred coat texture!
There are definitely pros and cons to straight hair Goldendoodles, as we discussed above. However, don’t feel like there’s anything “wrong” with your dog having an improper coat. Goldendoodles with flat coats are just as healthy and adorable as those with curly hair! It all comes down to personal preference.
Use the information you’ve learned from this article to help you make the best decision for your family!